Rick Gush -An Artist's Life

     Nobody, not even he, will ever know the whole truth.  Rick the artist has existed in set locations for certain periods, but beyond that, the details are obscure.  Those few who know him best have seen him pursue an active search for artistic experience.  Those thousands who have known him briefly, sometimes by a name, most times by none, he has been a consistent smiling face, a happy looking guy seen walking on the sidewalk, passing in the office hallways, or wandering among the woodlands, always interested in some exciting urgent project. 

    Certainly, there has been an arty life. Those who know him best have seen the art; sometimes quiet, sometimes loud, always enthusiastic in irreverent exploration.  Temporary works, thrown to the winds for a moment’s exquisite pleasure, they exist happily as memories, scraps, and stained photographs.  Always anxious to assist other artists in the realization of their own dreams, Rick has also frequently lent his own enthusiasm, sweat, and blood freely to the artistic projects of others.

    Now there is the canvas period.  Having long been fascinated with the idea of Miltonian preparation, for Rick Gush the wandering artist, these long postponed canvases will certainly be those vaporous memories that endure the longest.


Rick Gush -An Alternate Biography

     Most of Rick’s childhood in the 1950’s and 60’s was spent in Palo Alto, where his stepfather was a doctoral candidate in nuclear physics at Stanford, and family outings were typically visits to California hootenannies populated by the people who went on to start the hippie movement a few years later. 

     A high school guidance counsellor recommended that Rick consider attending the College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, much to the outrage of his mother, who was determined that Rick enroll at the University of California at Davis in Biological Sciences, which he did.  

     Rick’s second stepfather was an adventurous physician. By 1967, the family drifted apart, with Rick’s stepfather abruptly moving to Australia to work in an emergency clinic for surfers, Rick’s mother residing in a commune in Big Sur, and his sister running briefly with the San Francisco jet set. Rick spent the last year of high school living alone in the country club house in Diablo, with his folks dropping by occasionally to pick up a thing or two.

     Rick worked in the nursery industry and designed gardens frequently during his high school and university schooling.  A few years later he was a wandering garden club lecturer, often performing his show titled “The World’s Fastest Bonsai Master” in which he pruned plants with a chainsaw to dramatize the speedy production of beautiful bonsai plantings.  His self-published book Gardening for the Criminally Negligent has sold thousands of copies.

     Aside from a sizeable quantity of casual sculptures including many wooden shadowboxes, Rick’s first notable artistic endeavors were the three musical comedies he wrote for the Palms Playhouse in Davis, California in the 1970’s;  Sub Zero, The Eye of the Idol,  and It’s Not My Dog. He also constructed the theatrical sets for a number of other musicals, most notably the spectacular set for a Frankenstein spoof that included magical turrets, extensive taxidermy, and an impressive lightning generator powered by a backstage handcrank.  Interviewed on local television, Rick commented that he had “found all the materials alongside the road.”

     Rick’s active life has also included periods as a Sensuality Counsellor, a Rodeo Cowboy, a Uranium Miner, a Patio Furniture Designer, a Ski Lift Operator, and a live-in Executive Chef.  He worked one season as a door to door Encyclopedia Salesman in Mexico City at a time when he did not speak Spanish, and he also served briefly as a sales representative for the Asian Yellow Pages in the black neighbourhoods of Oakland, California.  “Life presents many interesting opportunities,” says Rick.


     In 1990 Rick joined Westwood Studios, then a happy newcomer in the computer game development industry.  Hired initially to write dialog, Rick quickly became a contributor to the landmark real-time strategy game Dune II, and for the next decade he assumed the roles of Producer and Designer for the Kyrandia comedy series, and the role-playing Lands of Lore series, all of which enjoyed some years of relative success, being published in multiple languages worldwide and producing many millions of dollars in revenue, of which Rick saw precious little, but it should be noted that after all, Rick knows jack about computers and couldn't survive without help from friends like Jeff Filhaber.

     In early 2005, stimulated by a period of employment designing art for an Indonesian crafts factory, Rick became convinced that there was still a great artistic eloquence possible with traditional wall canvas works, and he began creating canvas paintings.     

     Rick is strongly enthusiastic about his newly adopted home of Italy. Today he lives happily with his charming Italian wife in Rapallo on the Riviera Levante and works in his studio along the nearby river.  Although he is an obsessive painter and sculptor, Rick also continues to write agricultural articles for American magazines and work with various developers in the generation of new computer games. 






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